By Kevin Campbell

25th Nov, 2020 | 4:55pm

Villa Exclusive: Campbell reacts to 'Massive' behind-the-scenes development

Kevin Campbell is over the moon Aston Villa goalkeeper Tom Heaton completed his first 90 minutes since New Year’s Day.

The former Arsenal and Everton striker, speaking exclusively to Football Insider correspondent Dylan Childs, claimed it was a “massively important stepping stone” in the 33-year-old’s recovery from injury.

Heaton has not featured for Villa’s first team since New Year’s Day after he tore his anterior cruciate ligament in a 2-1 victory over Burnley at Turf Moor.

However, the England international has made two appearances for the club’s Under-23 side and played the entirety of the 2-0 win over Stoke City on Monday night.

His former teammate Paul Robinson revealed earlier this month that Heaton had all of the credentials to bounce back from a “really hard injury”.

When asked by Football Insider if Monday night’s game was a key moment in the goalkeeper’s comeback, Campbell said:

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“It is a massively important stepping stone in his journey back to full fitness.

“He has got a full game under his belt and I think after a couple more he will be ready.

“Hopefully there is no adverse reaction to the injury from the match and the training and he can go into his second game and build upon that. The first one is always a key stepping stone.” 

However, Heaton’s path back to the number one spot appears difficult after the £17million summer signing of Emiliano Martinez from Arsenal.

The Argentinian shot-stopper has earned praise for his eight performances this season.

In other Aston Villa news, Premier League giants tipped to trigger ‘extremely cheap’ clause in Villa player’s contract.